Monday, 15 October 2012

Groups and parties

While I went to primary school, team work started being popular. Pupils had to work in groups, new universities were founded and based on team work. Nobody questioned the benefits of team work. I understand from my children's school that the team dogma is still in place, and is still not being questioned.

I never really got used to it. In primary school I either took over the entire group, made all the decisions and did all the work. Or I sat in the corner and sulked. There was nothing in between. In high school I usually worked with one friend and that was OK. On my first day in university I became friends with Peter. We HAD to form teams in university, so Peter and I teamed up with different constellations. It only worked when it was just the two of us. And that worked because we had a clear division of labour: I was much better than Peter at the mathematical subjects, whereas he was better at words hence the more political subjects were his field. When other people were part of our group, I got confused and frustrated.

At times during my working life, I have had to put up with team work again. A few times I have been lucky and met another 'Peter', where the other person and I excelled in different areas. But more often that has not been the case, or the team had consisted of more than two people. And then the primary school history repeated itself. I took over everthing or I sulked in a corner.

I don't feel particularly well about parties either. The less chaotic the better, though. The annual Christmas party is a good example. Most often the party starts with a sports event, a city walk, or similar. During dinner, there are speeches, quizzes, competitions etc. All this time, I am fine. The mere existence of a schedule or a plan makes me relax. Also I know what is expected from me. I just have to participate, go with the flow... Then, after dinner, things get worse. The light is softened, the music made louder, and tables are being pushed aside so people can dance. No more schedule. If I happened to be engaged in a conversation, the loud music makes it difficult. And nobody asks me to dance. Not that I like to dance, but I don't like to sit alone and do nothing. If have no idea what to do and I can't find my friends because they are busy dancing and drinking. Since I don't dance and I don't drink, I am by all means 'not on board'. In recent years I have left the party at this time, deciding that nobody will notice that I am the only person under 60 to leave the party at about 9 pm. If they do, I make my voice hoarse and say that I have a sore throat. Which is not a lie because my throat gets sore from shouting over the music....

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